Author Archives: talkcounts

About talkcounts

Diana Loiewski has been teaching special needs students for over thirty years. She not only is a classroom high school teacher, she also serves as an administrative designee in IEP meetings, and case work trainer for the military Exceptional Family Member Program. In addition, she presents on special education topics all over the country and is a co author of Individual Education Plan Workbook for Success, and Healthy Relationships a multimedia workbook for special education teens and adults. ___________________________________________________________________ Elizabeth Dominick is the parent of an 18-year-old special needs student. Elizabeth and her husband navigated the special needs odyssey from the time their son was 3 years old to the present. She and her husband have placed their son in both public and private settings and have worked with attorney advocates to get better services. Ultimately, they ended up educating themselves on special education law. Elizabeth is a past reporter and editor and currently writes parent meditations and other articles for __________________________________________________________________ Sharon McCormick is a special education teacher and blogger. She has been in the classroom for over fifteen years. Prior to that time, she worked with emotionally disturbed youth in residential and group home settings. She is clever and creative and enjoys supporting students with special education needs. ___________________________________________________________________________ Renee Tompkins is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Master’s Degree in Speech and Language Services. She is an amazing and energetic professional with fifteen years of experience working directly with special needs students. She also serves as a board member of the Special Education Foundation and supports fundraising efforts for teachers within the Poway Unified School District. She is currently employed with the Poway Unified School District and she delivers services to both groups and individuals in the transition program working with adults eighteen-years-- twenty-two years of age. Her current responsibilities include organizing and running a healthy relationship program with both men and women with intellectual disabilities.

Everyone Wants a Friend

Everyone wants a friend and we all have different ways of making connections and developing relationships. Some people may believe that friendships happen by chance, however, what we know is that parents play a vital role in developing and building … Continue reading

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Are your concerns being heard at IEP meetings?

One of the best ways to share your concerns at an IEP meeting is by communicating openly and honestly.  Write your concerns down on paper and make sure they make sense. Consider sharing your concerns prior to the IEP meeting … Continue reading

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Disclaimer:  I am a teacher. I have been one for nearly 20 years.  I have had many different dealings with advocates, and my opinion is skewed as unfortunately, I have not had a positive meeting when an advocate is present.

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IEP: Special Factors page

The IEP contains many pages and each page is interrelated. What appears on the Present Levels page is supported on specific pages throughout the IEP. For instance, any area of identified needs is supported with what is written on Special … Continue reading

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Teenage Brain

Imagine a bush that needs pruning.  It is growing in all sorts of directions, with branches all different lengths.  The branches have different numbers of leaves on them, and are reaching in a variety of ways.  There seems to be … Continue reading

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Understanding Your IEP Pages

Navigating your IEP may feel taxing because of its size. The document often contains many pages because it needs to describe your student’s strengths, interests, academic areas of needs, social emotional needs, fine and gross motor needs, health, accommodations and … Continue reading

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Adding Academics to Your Day

Summer is busy and it is often difficult to fit extra support for academics into one’s schedule. So it is time to think creatively and turn every family activity into a learning activity. If you are driving your children to … Continue reading

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Sleep Delivers Benefit

In addition, to keeping up with reading and mathematics this summer, it is a good idea to pay attention to your child’s sleeping patterns.  How many hours a night and the type of sleep your  child gets has a direct … Continue reading

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Second guessing your IEP meeting is okay!

Recently, I received a copy of an IEP and psychological report from a concerned parent of a second grade student.  Please note the student’s name has been removed; this scenario could refer to anyone male or female. The IEP team … Continue reading

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Trains, Planes and Automobiles: A Meditation

Trains, planes and automobiles: my version of lions, tigers and bears –oh my! Some of my most challenging experiences with my special needs child were when he was young and I had to cart him along on a two-hour airplane … Continue reading

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